Urgent and emergency care
Torbay Hospital is extremely busy and our staff are working hard to care for some very poorly patients. If it’s not an emergency, please visit your local pharmacy, GP or nearest minor injuries service. And if in doubt, call NHS 111. Choose the right service for you.
Urgent care services are for people who have a problem that needs attention the same day, but is not life threatening or life changing. This can be provided by our minor injuries units, various health professionals, including GPs, hospital doctors and nurses in various locations, and health centres.
You can visit your local Minor Injuries Unit if you have the following type of injuries:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Limb injuries (shoulder to finger, knee to toe)
- Low risk head injuries (note: patients on anti-coagulants must be referred to the emergency department)
- Soft tissue infections
- Wounds including bites, lacerations, abrasions, bites and stings and wounds requiring sutures or glue
- Wound infections not requiring second line antibiotics
- Foreign bodies in eyes and ears
- Some ophthalmic issues such as conjunctivitis
- Minor illnesses such as tonsillitis, ear infections and female UTIs
Investigations and testing
The unit has limited access to investigations, we can complete a basic urinalysis. It provides basic observations through x-ray and ECG tests (note: cardiac chest pain shouldn’t be referred to an MIU / UTC or anyone requiring an ECG as these have to be interpreted by a doctor). No blood testing is carried out.
We can’t x-ray:
- hips and femurs
- skulls and facial bones
- spines – cervical thoracic or lumber
- chest and ribs
- We don’t perform CT, MRI or ultrasound scans
Conditions that Minor Injuries Units cannot treat include:
- Brain or spinal cord injuries
- Chronic pain
- Head injury requiring imaging x-ray / MRI
- High energy head injuries
- Injuries older than two weeks is outside our scope for x-ray and will need outpatient referral for x-ray
- Injuries to the tongue and teeth
- Non-traumatic pains that GP feel requires imaging
- Open fractures
- Abdominal pains and chest pains
- Children under two years old
- Dental problems
- Diarrhea / vomiting / constipation
- Drug / alcohol and social issues
- Loss of consciousness or focal or neurological deficits
- Limping child with a fever
- Male or female catheterization
- Male UTIs
- Persistent headaches
- Pregnancy related issues
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Sudden severe shortness of breath
- Chronic disease management
- Repeat prescriptions
- Safeguarding concerns (e.g. possible non-accidental injury or a vulnerable person is affected)
- Stab wounds
- Minor surgery such as abscesses or cysts
- Redressing of chronic wounds
There are a number of ways of assessing and treating minor injuries and ailments. If you are unsure whether to seek medical advice, please phone 111 and ask for guidance. Alternatively, you can visit The NHS website’s A-Z of health conditions and treatments.
Emergency care is for people who have a condition that is life threatening or presents an immediate risk to long term health. An emergency is ‘a critical or life-threatening situation’. Emergency care is provided by the Emergency Department at Torbay Hospital.
Information for local businesses in the tourism and hospitality industries
Every year we welcome thousands of visitors to our beautiful place. Unfortunately, some will need to access healthcare urgently while they are here. We would be grateful if you can help us get information to visitors so they are able to access the right services if they need them.
We want to encourage people to call 111 so they can be advised on the best service for their health need and also to let them know we have a fantastic Urgent Treatment Centre at Newton Abbot. Your support will help us to get people the right treatment and also ensure our Emergency Department can be used only when needed for emergencies.
Below are some posters that can be downloaded for you use to support us and your guests and visitors. If you have social media channels it would be great if you could share posts on there too.
Thank you for helping us help your guests and visitors.
- Download the Newton Abbot Urgent Treatment Centre poster or email our to have some posters sent to you. Please state the size (A3 or A4) and quantity, and the contact name and address for the posters to be sent to.
- Download the 111 First social media sharing video